Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thoughts About Priorities

​​So, here I am at the beach, with my 80 year old mother and my 17 year old youngest daughter, having Spring Break together. I've had plenty of time to walk in the surf and sit on the rocks, letting my thoughts wander. The thing I've thought about the most is "priorities".

I'll be honest and say that it has been a hassle to bring my mother on this trip. But it was important to her - she was feeling snow-bound and depressed from the winter cold - so I did it. She can walk, but she is unsteadier than she admits, and she can't go long distances, so I made sure we had a wheelchair reserved to get through the airport. I made sure we had a first floor room reserved at the resort. I made sure our room wasn't more than a hundred yards from the restaurant. I did everything I could to make sure that the trip was comfortable for her. I thought I was mentally ready. Then ... she walked straight into a glass door at the airport main entrance before I could stop her, and she fell. Fortunately, I caught her before her head hit the ground, and was able to soften her fall, because we both went down.

I instinctively switched from daughter to doctor, and made sure she stayed still until she could catch her breath and I could determine if she had any pain or injury. "Hip" was all I could think about. But thanks be to God and the angels in charge of the elderly, the only thing damaged was that her glasses were a little bent. She is on a blood-thinner, so I also worried about big hematomas and bleeding. An attendant with a wheelchair arrived, an airport security officer arrived, a woman who identified herself as a nurse arrived. I assessed her again, but Mom refused EMS. She seemed fine, so I held my breath and we proceeded with the trip.

She was fine, thank God, but it rattled me. Apparently, my mother is even more fragile than I had thought. What made me think it was a good idea to take her out of the country? I took her out of familiar suroundings, and suddenly, she wasn't aware enough even to see that a glass door was closed. I suddenly felt like the mother of a toddler again - struggling between allowing independence with unsteady steps, and forcing her to let me take her arm over the uneven cobblestones on the way to dinner. If I hovered too close or cautioned her, she got mad at me and responded  "Yes, Mother!"

But, I'm adjusting. Because this trip was important to her. And because she was the mother of the toddler  "me" once upon a time. Sometimes we pay it forward, and sometimes we pay it back.

I'm not sure what any of this has to do with the outdoors and the shooting sports, except that I guess I have to set priorities there too. Like for instance, the A Girl and A Gun Conference was this week. But it was my daughter's Spring Break, and my mother needed a break too, so we're here instead, and I just followed AG&AG along on Facebook instead. Priorities.

I haven't ordered new shotgun shell caddies to learn the new loading technique yet either --because I was paying for and worrying about this trip instead. Priorities. Maybe once I get back, I'll settle into the Spring shooting season. I'm a little jealous of all of the folks who live in AZ and TX and the warmer states, who get to have a season that never ends. Mine, however, starts in April. I'll be rusty, but I'll be there.

See you soon!!!


  1. Great post! My mother said several years ago that learning to parent your parent was one of the most difficult things she had ever done. Will I see you at the Babes camp in PA in Sept.? Hope so, met you in KY last October! Teresa

  2. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Teresa :-)
    And, yes, I will be at Babes in Pittsburgh with bells on!!